No need to reply

In a minute, I’ll give you the secret to getting an email reply from almost anyone. But first, some context… Even though I’m only very slightly known in a niche and local industry, I get a lot of emails from strangers – and I do my best to reply to all of them. The majority are kind words with a simple request, which I tend to reply to quickly. It’s usually something straightforward like “Can you recommend a mortgage broker?”: either I can or I can’t, and it’s a one-line…

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More of what matters

This week, due to “life”, I’ve only been in a position to do a couple of hours’ work each day. I’d like to report that I spent those couple of hours focusing on big-picture projects that kept everything surging forward. But no: I had no choice but to dedicate the little time I had to the essential tasks that prevented everything from falling apart – like making payments, replying to critical emails, and having a call with my bookkeeper. Effectively, the business has been in maintenance mode. So annoyingly, most…

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Internet commenters in “not entirely supportive” shocker

Despite generally being a grumpy and sceptical so-and-so, I couldn’t help having my heart slightly warmed by a story I read this week. If you have a moral objection to the Daily Mail, don’t click this link and I’ll summarise instead. In short, a young couple from the UK had a baby. They’d saved up, so during the mother’s maternity leave they could go backpacking – with the baby – around Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Good for them, right? Nope, apparently not! Here’s a selection of some of the…

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Create for yourself first

If we take “financial independence” to mean “being able to do whatever you want without money being a concern”, then the equation is very simple: You’re financially independent as soon as your monthly passive income from assets exceeds the monthly cost of doing whatever you want. This is the essential logic of the early retirement movement: save like crazy to buy assets, then quit once the expected return of those assets gives you enough to live on. It means the money you need to live keeps automatically rolling in, whether…

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A better path to early retirement

Over the last year, I’ve started reading a lot of “early retirement” blogs: a category that has an oversupply issue in common with digital nomad blogs, but also a common desire to look at the normal way of doing things and say “sod that for a lark”. The gist of the standard early retirement method is this: instead of saving 10% of what you earn, aim for 50% or more. Invest it in the stock market, and in 10–15 years you’ll have accumulated enough that you can live off the…

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